Legendary Science Fiction Writer Philip K. Dick Is Getting A Biopic

Philip K. Dick is one of the most influnetial science-fiction writers, and now the man is getting the biopic treatment, as his life is being turned into a movie.

By Douglas Helm | Published

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Philip K. Dick is one of the most well-regarded and acclaimed science fiction writers of all time, but unless you’ve read his biography, you probably know a lot more of his stories than about the man himself. That’s about to change as there is reportedly a film in the works titled Only Apparently Real, which is based on the Philip K. Dick biography of the same name by Paul Williams.

Philip K. Dick is known for stories such as The Man in the High Castle, A Scanner Darkly, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, Ubik, and many more. His novels and stories have also been adapted for the screen, most notably with Blade Runner, Total Recall, and Minority Report. While his novels were incredibly interesting and influential in the literary sci-fi world, Philip K. Dick led a tumultuous life influenced by various divorces, drugs, suicide attempts, and more.

Only Apparently Real seems like it will be just as surreal as the subject that inspires it. The movie will center around a break-in that may or may not have happened at Philip K. Dick’s home. His safe had been opened and some of his manuscripts had been stolen. Police investigated the break-in as a robbery, but the investigators began to suspect Dick himself of staging the scene. Philip K. Dick’s unreliable journals detailed the event, with him suspecting the police of staging it. At the time of the break-in, there were various other things going on in his life, such as his fourth divorce, his writer’s block, his suspicion that the US government was keeping tabs on him, and his ongoing drug problems.

Only Apparently Real will be produced by Jon Shestack and Michael Richter, with Richter also writing the script. As previously mentioned, it will be based on the book by Paul Williams, who was a friend and eventually the executioner of the Philip K. Dick literary estate. There are no directors or cast members attached at this time, but the Hollywood Reporter mentions that the project is being financed through a blockchain-based DAO. With the project being in very early development, it will be interesting to see if everything pans out and comes to fruition.

Until then, you can always revisit the Philip K. Dick novels or adaptations of his work. The most recent on-screen adaptation of a Philip K. Dick novel was the fourth season of The Man in the High Castle, which started streaming on Amazon Prime Video in 2019. The Man in the High Castle depicted an alternate history where the Axis powers won World War II. The most recent season was the final season of the series. There was also an anthology series based on Dick’s stories called Electric Dreams that aired on Channel 4 in 2017 and Amazon Prime Video in 2018.

It’s been a while since we’ve seen a big-screen adaptation of the work from Philip K. Dick, with the last direct adaptation being a reboot of Total Recall in 2012, which was based on the short story We Can Remember It for you Wholesale. In 2017, we saw Denis Villanueva bring the world of Blade Runner back to the screen with Blade Runner 2049, continuing the story that started in the first Blade Runner, which was based on Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?